The earlier start of basketball practice gave coaches more time with their teams and, for Duke, it provided an opportunity to take a preseason trip.
Over Duke’s fall break this weekend, the Blue Devils will spend four days in New York, starting today, on what they’ve named Duke Elevate. Stops on the tour will include the Museum of Modern Art and Apollo Theatre, a Broadway show, the National 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center and a day at West Point. Duke will practice every day, too, and have dinners with prominent Duke alumni. The list includes:
Ashok Varadhan (former team manager and current Head of Macro Trading and partner at Goldman Sachs)
Steve Duncker (retired partner at Goldman Sachs, former chairman of the New York Racing Association)
Alan Schwartz (former Bear Stearns CEO, executive chairman of Guggenheim Partners, Duke trustee)
*Jesse Itzler (not an alum, but successful entrepreneur and supporter of the program)
"Basically, for us, this fall break trip is a team-building trip," assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski said. "Last year, we went to Ft. Bragg and we spent a couple of days with the troops down there and learned from the Army. We were able to really connect and build some bonds with our team. This year, we’re going up to New York.
"We’ll practice each day. We want to develop our team, and we want to develop our guys. We try to do that on the court, and we also try to do that off the court and exposing them to different experiences, hoping they can learn from whether it’s the people up at West Point or gaining a greater perspective by visiting the 9/11 memorial, just being together on the road. All of those things go into us growing together as a group, getting to know one another better and educating ourselves on what we need to do to be successful as a team."